Channel NewsAsia - Data could give Singapore a competitive advantage: Chan Chun Sing

Data must be seen as a new resource in order for the Republic to become a key player in the global digital economy.


Mr Chan Chun Sing at the Public Policy Challenge finals

Data must be seen as a new resource in order for the Republic to become a key player in the global digital economy, said Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Future Economy Chan Chun Sing on Saturday (Sep 24).

The Committee’s report, to be published in the first quarter of 2017, will explore ways to help Singaporeans and businesses navigate an increasingly digitised economic landscape, among other things.

According to a survey by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), some 53,000 jobs will be created within the sector over the next three years. Mr Chan said many of these can be found in areas concerning data.

"You can talk about data storage, you can talk about data processing, you can talk about data analytics, data security," he said. "If we can see data as a new resource compared to the traditional resources like water, energy, oil and so forth - then we may be able to create new competitive advantages for Singapore, leverage data to create new businesses and new jobs for Singaporeans,” he said. “This is why we think that the digital economy is the most pervasive aspect of the many new ideas that we have."

Mr Chan was speaking at the finals of the annual Public Policy Challenge where he discussed issues facing Singapore's future economy with about 110 students.

Mr Chan added that Singapore's global reputation of trustworthiness would set the country in good stead to be a leader in fields like cybersecurity. The committee will also explore ways to help Singaporeans of all ages be ready for the future economy.

"If we take the digital economy - how can we get our preschoolers, our very young, to be very comfortable to use this new technology," he said. "How can we get our preschoolers to be very comfortable using this new technology, how can we get students who are choosing their courses to embark on things like analytics and cyber security and so forth, how can we re-train and re-equip our people who are already in the job market so that they can be smart users?"

Mr Chan said another question is on how to help the elderly leverage technology to have a better quality of life.

Besides the digital economy, the Committee's report will focus on jobs and skills of the future, Singapore as a connected city, innovation, and governance, or setting up a regulatory framework to protect intellectual property.

Source: Channel NewsAsia

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